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Kiwi Downunder.. Viral & CD4
Jul 7, 2006

Hi Bob.. I tested positive February this year. My first CD4 test was 656. I have just got my next blood results back four months later.. CD4 32% = 896.. CD8 34% = 952 CD3 69% = 1932.. My doctor is telling me that if my CD4 count is high there is no need to do a viral laod test.. Could you please comment on this as all the reading I have done from this site indicates standard practise to test both CD4 and Viral Load together.. My CD4 count is good , however I am worried if I have an undetected high viral load what damage this may be doing to my body.. Is it ok to have a high viral load together with high CD4 count and not consider HIV treatment.. I have found so much comfort from this forum since testing positive, thanks for helping me through this huge change in my life.. This is a second request for your advice, please find time to answer... Take care and keep well... John

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi John,

Most HIV specialists would follow both CD4 count and HIV plasma viral load every three to four months. With high CD4 counts, obtaining a viral load test may not be absolutely necessary. Generally speaking, if the viral load increases, the CD4 count will begin to decrease. We monitor both to follow two different, albeit related, parameters of HIV infection. The viral load test measures viral activity (how actively the virus is replicating). The CD4 count measures immune integrity or damage. (Decreasing counts indicate progressive immune deficiency.)

Hope that helps.

Dr. Bob



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